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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 32760
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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My cat often throws up. I thought it was because he suffers

Customer Question

My cat often throws up. I thought it was because he suffers from stress so have feliway pluged in all the time. He still throws up. Where I live there is water & draft coming the windows, could this make him poorly as always cleaning mould off the window frames?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 4 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin
I'm sorry to hear of this with Jake. No, I wouldn't think that water and draft should be incriminated.

There are many etiologies for excessive vomiting in cats. The simplest is an accumulation of nondigestible debris in their stomachs which is addressed with lubricating laxatives - "hair ball remedies" which contain flavored petrolatum. If these remdies aren't helpful we perform a thorough physical exam and diagnostics in the form of blood and urine tests in an attempt to identify an underlying internal medical disorder such as chronic pancreatitis, hepatitis, or nephritis. We might. however, first consider a food intolerance that may have emerged.

Food intolerance/allergy is addressed with prescription hypoallergenic diets. These special foods contain just one novel (rabbit, duck, e.g.) animal protein or proteins that have been chemically altered (hydrolyzed) to the point that Jake's immune system doesn't "see" anything to be allergic to. The over the counter hypoallergenic foods too often contain proteins not listed on the label - soy is a common one - and these proteins would confound our evaluation of the efficacy of the hypoallergenic diet. The prescription foods are available from his vet. There are many novel protein foods and a prototypical hydrolyzed protein food is Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d ultra. A positive response is usually seen within a few weeks if we’ve eliminated the offending food allergen. Food intolerance can appear at any age and even if our cats have eaten the same food for quite some time.

When food trials and biochemical testing hasn't revealed the etiology of Jakes' vomiting we might presumptively address an inflammatory bowel disorder (IBD). This identifies an idiopathic (unknown cause) inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract which often responds to antiinflammatory drugs such as the antiinflammatory antibiotic metronidazole or corticosteroids such as prednisolone. Finally, we can resort to scoping and biopsying our cat's GI tract in an attempt to receive an answer from our pathologist.

A methodical approach to feline vomiting should determine the cause. I understand that it's more time consuming and expensive than the Feliway but it's likely to be more valuable in the long run. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.